The 1955 Paris Auto Show was the venue at which Ferrari first introduced the Chassis to the Ferrari 410 Superamerica. By this time, the company had already outsourced the development of the body. The complete car was later unveiled the same year, just 4 Months after the Paris show. It was at the Brussels Motor Show that Ferrari showcased the first sample of a complete Ferrari 410 Superamerica. The task of designing the body had been outsourced to Pinin Farina, however, coach builders Carrozzeria Ghia also developed their own version of the body. At the end of the day, Ferrari had several bodies to consider but the one presented by Ghia gave them something to think about. All the bodies were adopted but the one presented by Ghia seemed too alien. The body was outfitted with garish fins and a submarine-like profile which made it very unique. Only a few cars were made with this body design. The uniqueness of the Ghia made it more coveted than most of the other 410 Ferrari models.
About The Ferrari 410 Superamerica Engine
The chassis was a continuation of the Ferrari history. This particular sports car was not made for racing but rather for luxury drivers. To continue with the tradition of the Ferrari 375 America, the Superamerica also donned a 2800 mm wheelbase. The car also borrowed the Lampredi long-block engine from its predecessor. The V12 engine was modified, increasing its bore by some 4mm to 88 mm while the stroke remained at 68 mm. These adjustments helped increase the capacity by a whole 400cc, to make the Superamerica a 4963 cc at 6000rpm.
Which Body For The Ferrari 410 Superamerica?
The 410 Superamerica body by Ghia was designed by Mario Savonuzzi, the same mind behind the Chrysler Glida and Dart. Although Gia made a sleek body that turned out to be loved by some, Ferrari never worked with this company again due to the alien look of the Ferrari 410 Superamerica.
Given that the body was not regarded as good looking, only a few units were produced. The massive fins towering approximately a foot above the rear fender were a deal breaker. However, like it is with most sports cars, the fewer the units the more the demand in later years. A few decades down the line, driving a 410 became a dream for many. Carrozzeria in Turin, on the other hand, developed two bodies. The company was headed by Mario Boano and Gian Paolo his son. The two had just parted ways with Ghia and established a new outfit. The bodies included a coupe and a convertible coupe.
As if Carrozzeria and Ghia designers were working together, they also produced a body that was loaded with fins. Although they were not as high as those produced by Ghia, the car did not look much appealing to Ferrari. The rear fins carved dramatically outward giving it a shape of a speed boat.
The body designed by Boano seemed to get some inspiration from the 1950's Detroit. However, it was Pinin Farina that stole the show at the 1956 Paris Salon when he unveiled a unique design.
Fitting The Chassis With The Body
Since there were several body designs, Ferrari had to find a way of fitting all the bodies to its pre designed chassis. The Boano designs mainly mimicked the look of the 250 GT cabriolet. With that said, the balance of the Ferrari 410 Superamericas enjoyed Pinin Farina coachworks. Each Ferrari produced was tailored to clients specifications. Although all the bodies were given a chance at the table, it was the clients to decide which body would be the best for them. The same styling themes were used throughout all the Ferrari 410 Superamerica cars. The first 0471 Chassis had its Horsepower increased over the years, topping at 400bhp on some cars. It was the powerful engine that motivated most buyers looking for a custom version of this car. Although the body design looked somewhat complicated, it was as much impressive to many luxury car lovers.
The chassis 00483 was the first for Ferrari 410 to use a shorter 2600 mm wheelbase. This was quite different from all the other Ferrari's since they had adopted the 2800 mm wheelbase. Pinin Farina preferred the shorter wheelbase while creating his Superfast 1. The Superfast 1 was unveiled at the Paris Auto Show in 1956. This specific design helped in introducing a lot of Ferrari themes that followed in the years after. The Jet-fighter styling also captured the minds of many and created the pathway for changes in Ferrari's exterior themes. The covered headlamps, for instance, were first presented at the 1956 Autoshow.
The production of the 1956 Ferrari 410 Superamerica Carrozzeria Ghia started in 1956 and continued all the way to 1959. A few people can tell the exact number of units produced since they were all produced on order. Another interesting fact is that they all had unique looks. There are almost three independent looks for the 410 with each individual car having modifications according to client specifications. The Ferrari 410 Superamerica remained a reserve of the super rich and up to date, only a few people can lay their hands on the remaining few. These cars were not produced for racing as you would expect. They were mainly trophy cars used to showcase the might of the mightiest in society at the time. Some of the notable owners of the Ferrari 410 Superamerica include Emperor Bao Dai and Shah of Iran.
Although the Ferrari 410 Superamerica was not a racing car, it has such a rich history you would want to be associated with it. The car experienced many development glitches but turned out to be a perfect fit for the royal class. Since the rich like being distinguished from the rest, the Ferrari 410 Superamerica gave them the perfect opportunity to drive a car that was termed to be "out of the world". Literally, this car was designed to look like something from a different planet and its design still fascinates many. According to Forbes, the Ferrari 410 is estimated to be worth between $5 and $6 million currently.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson